Olaniyonu and the Charley boy led group; #Our mumu don do
A nationwide clamor for the release from detention of detained Premium Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, is underway with the blockage of the popular Shehu Shagari Way in the Abuja the Federal Capital Thursday, by protesters from the #Ourmumudondo, just as Yusuph Olaniyonu, Media Adviser to Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome and an advocacy group SERAP, call for his immediate release.
He is being detained by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS for allegedly ‘circulating the preliminary report of the IGP’ on DSS D-G, Lawal Daura, sacked by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for ordering his men to invade the National Assembly premises recently.
According to Olaniyonu, the continued illegal detention of Samuel Ogundipe, a Premium Times journalist, is an affront on the fourth estate of the realm and an assault on freedom of the press, freedom of speech and due process.
In a statement released on Thursday, Olaniyonu, a former Editor and Editorial Board Chairman with THISDAY Newspaper, reiterated that freedom of speech and due process must be adhered to in Ogundipe’s case, stating that journalists must be free to practice their profession without fear of intimidation by security forces.
“As a journalist and media professional, I find it preposterous that Mr. Ogundipe has been held without recourse to due process for more than 48hours,” Olaniyonu said, “This is a democracy and even when it hurts, journalists must be free to write their truthful stories and protect their sources without the fear of being picked up and tried secretly.
“It is a settled issue in our jurisprudence that a journalist cannot be compelled to disclose the source of his or her information. In cases like Tony Momoh versus Senate, Ray Ekpu Vs IGP and many others, our courts have decided that the journalist cannot be compelled to reveal the source of his story.
“I want the world to know that I, and my colleagues in this profession will continue to stand alongside Samuel Ogundipe. We will continue to speak up for him and demand his immediate and unconditional release. We will also continue to demand that due process must be followed and freedom of speech and that of the press must be protected,” the journalist said.
The Charley Boy led group #Our MuMu Don Do, barricaded the road, forcing motorists to take alternative routes while drawing public attention on their way to the Force Headquarters.
SERAP has petitioned to the United Nations over the arrest and detention, while a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome has described the detention of the journalists as a sad reminder of the “inglorious locust days of Decree No. 4 of 1984 under President Muhammadu Buhari, then as a military dictator.”